This book is a slice of the RAF and NATO in Germany through the Cold War. Nicely paced text, the author’s personal experiences, and extensive illustration, makes this an outstanding book. – Most Highly Recommended
NAME: Seek and Strike, RAF Bruggen in War and Peace FILE: R3282 AUTHOR: Nigel Walpole PUBLISHER: Air World, Pen and Sword BINDING: soft back PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Cold War, Rhine Army, 1BR Corps, RAF, RAF Bruggen, Vampire FB5, Sabre, NATO, Belgian Air Force, F-84 Thunderjet, airfield construction, RAF Regiment, AAA, Anti-aircraft guns, Hunter F4, Meteor NF11, Javelin FAW1, Lightnings, Phantom FGR2, Jaguar, Tornado ISBN: 1-52675-842-3 PAGES: 356, extensive b&w illustration through the book IMAGE: B3282.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y3nrxy86 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This book is a slice of the RAF and NATO in Germany through the Cold War. Nicely paced text, the author's personal experiences, and extensive illustration, makes this an outstanding book. – Most Highly Recommended
The Allied victory over Germany presented a range of challenges. Initially, the country was divided between the principle Allies, and garrisoned as an occupied country. Everywhere there were ruins, a lack of power and water, badly damaged roads and rail track, and millions of displaced persons trying to find a new home. The first step had to be the reconstruction of basic infrastructure and the maintenance of public order, along with the distribution of food and other essential supplies. Beyond that, Churchill had understood the failure of US diplomats that had created a new threat on the doorstep, in the form of the Soviet Union. The new national socialist Government in Britain failed to understand the dangers and thought of the USSR as a friendly off-shoot of the Transport and General Workers Union. Stalin soon dispelled that misunderstanding, although not before the British Labour Government had given him many of Britain’s best items of technology, including jet aircraft engines. The watershed was to be in 1948 when the Soviets besieged Berlin, hoping the Allies would walk away, leaving this outpost of freedom in East Germany to Soviet rule and the East German puppet Government. The Western Allies responded with a remarkable air-bridge that broke the siege.
After the Berlin Airlift, it was obvious, even to the dimmer politicians, that the USSR posed a huge threat with a massive tank army over a few days drive from the Channel Coast and the North Sea. The Allied response was the development of NATO and the adoption of Manstein’s controlled retreat and counter-attack tactics that had worked so well on the Eastern Front during WWII. That required stocks of armour and other equipment ready for troops flown in from across NATO and the replacement of occupying troops with a mobile Rhine Army force in the British sector, supported by RAF seek and destroy squadrons based at updated airfields in the sector. RAF Bruggen was one of these key ground support bases that would have become vital had the Soviets tried invading and NATO had responded with conventional and tactical nuclear weapons to halt the Soviet hordes.
The author has produced a comprehensive history of RAF Bruggen and its squadrons through the period of the Cold War. In the process he has covered the range of jets used by the RAF, from the Vampire to the Tornado. A most highly commendable book for all interested in aviation history.